Substituting Ingredients (book review + giveaway)

How was everybody’s Monday? Mine was actually quite good. I wonder if it had anything to do with me starting the day bright and early with a pilates reformer class? I hate getting up but I really love the fresh air early in the morning and the feeling of doing something good for my body before I even have a proper breakfast. Plus, knowing that I have an early class actually forces me to go to bed at a decent hour – something I often struggle with (just 5 more minutes of blogs!…).

So I’m sure you are dying to know about the giveaway I am referring to in the title of this post. Let me tell you all about it. :mrgreen: A few weeks ago I received a copy of Substituting Ingredients by Becky Sue Epstein.

I was really excited to get this book because I swear – I realize I’m out of something mid-cooking nearly every week!! Well I guess sometimes I realize I have something slightly different from what the recipe calls for and I’m not sure if I can just substitute it one-to-one.

This actually happened the day after I got the book. I realized the brownie recipe I was testing called for dutch processed cocoa… and that I only had the standard kind. Oops. :oops: I grabbed the book – it had subs for cocoa powder in it but only for the regular kind and said 1/2 cocoa powder for baking could be substituted with 1/2 semi-sweet chocolate chips. Good to know but not exactly what I needed. So I got dressed (I was still in my pajamas) and went to the grocery store to look for dutch processed cocoa… and they didn’t have any. I even tried 2 different stores. Nope. A little googling solved that problem and the brownies turned out great. :)

So this book did not save me the first time around but I did browse through it and see how it will surely be useful (despite noting a few other misses – for example a sub for white wine for cooking was not there). There are lots of standard ingredients substitutions for things like light corn syrup, honey (for baking), and fish sauce (<- these are things I’ve looked up in the past). There are also some interesting subs for random ingredients – for example Becky suggests subbing green peppers, green beans and eggplant for okra (although notes the texture will be different with eggplant). My favorite tips are the ones for measurement conversions of dry to cooked ingredients. How many times do you see recipes that say 2 cups of cooked rice or pasta? Unless I already have that on hand, the more likely case is that I have to make some. How much dry rice/beans/pasta should I cook? This book provides equations for all these and more. Very cool.

So here is another cool part. The company sent me 2 copies by mistake. I received this one a few weeks ago and then got another package (with the same book) a few days back. This means one of you lucky Healthy and Sane readers can receive a copy of this book too! :D

Here is how:

1) Leave a comment on this post – anything goes. :)

2) If you have a blog, let others know about the giveaway and link back to this post.  If you don’t have a blog, tell someone about this giveaway and let me know that you’ve done so (after they enter the giveaway by commenting). You can also tweet about this giveaway (my twitter name must be included to qualify – that’s @healthyandsane fyi ;) ) *Either one earns you a bonus point*

3) If you have a blog, add Healthy and Sane to your blogroll or follow me on Twitter (if I’m already on your blogroll, let me know – it counts!).  If you don’t, shoot me an email and give me some feedback on my blog. *This also earns you a bonus point*

*Please note this giveaway is open for US readers only.*

I will randomly choose and announce the winner on June 18th. Good luck! :D

Now let’s quickly cover today’s eats. SO good!

BALANCED BREAKFAST

Last banana zucchini spelt muffin (I had some frozen)

Fresh local strawberries

Oikos. It was extra good today for some reason.

BALANCED LUNCH

I’m still sore today so I decided to come home for lunch instead of going to Rope’n class. But not before I stopped by Whole Foods. I was dying for some sushi so I got some veggie maki since it’s Meatless Monday. :D

Brown rice carrot, avocado and cucumber maki

+ kale massaged with lemon and 1t basil EVOO + S&P - I was craving that too.

This was exactly what I wanted. I love when healthy meals really hit the spot like that. :grin:

Snacks at work included 1/2 apple pie larabar (mid-morning) and 1/2 giant banana with 1T Barney Butter (mid-afternoon). I was definitely hungry for dinner by the time I got home.

BALANCED DINNER

You may not recall when I raved about a tilapia dish with lemon caper sauce and roasted asparagus and grape tomatoes but this meal hasn’t left my mind ever since. Cara was responsible for this genius recipe (which can be found here) and suggested that I have to try it with haloumi as she originally posted it. So I finally did today.

Have you ever had haloumi cheese? It basically tastes like a slightly milder feta that you grill. Absolutely delicious. This dish was fantastic again. Can I put it on the favorite recipes list again? I think I can… and I am! ;)

TREAT

One joe-joe (aka a chocolate oreo cookie minus the junk ingredients)

It may have something to do with what just came out of my oven ;)

You’re going to have to wait for the next post for more details on that! Any guesses what it might be?

The rules have changed – a brownie recipe needed

Morning (or whenever you are reading it ;) )!

So remember the bake-off I mentioned a few posts ago? I emailed the organizer yesterday and she clarified the rules to me – this is a brownie contest! Dang, and I thought a had a winning recipe all planned out. Brownies happened to be one of my favorite desserts of all time, so I’m super excited for the tasting portion of the contest, but I’ve never actually baked a brownie I thought was outstanding. My last attempt at rocky road brownies was a good try. I liked the topping (and think it may be a great contestant!) but the brownie was really dry. :( I asked you for your favorite brownie recipe in that post (and Jen came to the rescue – I plan on testing it soon, Jen!) but I’m asking again. Do you have a favorite brownie recipe? It can be a basic brownie (I’ll add my own topping) or a great brownie “combo.” Thanks again!! I love that I have you all here as my resources. :mrgreen:

Yesterday’s eats – it’s was Meatless Monday, fyi.

BREAKFAST

A green smoothie: almond milk, water, frozen banana, frozen strawberries, frozen spinach, ground peanuts (from a failed attempt at making pb) + Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood packet

Oh yes, let’s not forget the Bran Buds I received as a sample from the company. They added a nice crunch to the smoothie, which I ate with a spoon. Adam and I agreed we’d buy this cereal – it was really yummy :)

LUNCH

My favorite sandwich combo of all time – seriously! I brought it to work with me and couldn’t resist but eat half before my lunchtime workout.

Grilled peppers, zucchini and eggplant, fresh tomato, goat cheese and Stonewall Kitchen sundried tomato pesto on a TJ’s scooped out ciabatta roll

Just thinking about this sandwich again makes me happy. I can never resits this combo!!

WORKOUT

Power yoga at my gym. The girl’s voice wasn’t as soothing as my favorite instructor’s on Thursdays but the practice was good at the end. Once we started flowing I forgot about all this other nonsense like how I wish the girl didn’t sound so “valley.”

DINNER

I really tried being vegan for the day but couldn’t resist the urge to add the goat cheese to my lunchtime sandwich. For dinner the cheese jumped in once again but we couldn’t really taste it at the end, so it’s going to be 100% vegan next time. So what did we have, you ask?

Avocado and pinto black bean enchiladas from Eat, Drink & be Vegan

I made a few tiny modifications to the recipe – if you can get a hold of it and want to recreate my version exactly, here they are. I used only 8 corn tortillas (to save cals – 2/prs is plenty), black beans instead of pinto (Adam is obsessed with black beans!), almond slices instead of cashews (all we had), no onions, 1 jar of TJ’s enchilada sauce, 1/4-1/2 cup of Stonewall kitchen peach mango hot sauce and a sprinkle of TJ’s light Mexican cheese. I think that’s it ;)

I served it with a Russian inspired salad – fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, S&P + nonfat yogurt (Russians would traditionally use sour cream) – it was perfectly cool to balance out the spiciness of the enchiladas!

Let’s peak inside the enchiladas…

They were “meaty”, creamy, spicy, super flavorful. Adam already requested that we make these again. Yay the vegan book is coming in handy! :D

Dessert (definitely not vegan!) – break-up bars

Yeah, go ahead and double that – so much for portion control. :oops:

Other snacks throughout the day included edamame hummus with baby carrots, a packet of somersaults, pickles, toast with hummus. I was definitely snacky!

We are having our outdoor furniture delivered today. Our first farmers market is also opening today. Lots of excitement for one day. :lol: What are you looking forward to today?

Meatless Mondays – I’m on board!

I finally joined the Meatless Monday movement. I know a lot of you are already on board, but I was hesitant. You see, over the past year I’ve significantly increased the number of vegetarian meals in my diet (and by default – my husband’s). It was driven by a conscious decision to purchase mostly organic poultry and meats as well as grass-fed beef, which of course we can’t afford for every meal. Instead of filling in the rest of the meals with antibiotics filled, inhumanely raised meat, we decided to go meatless more often!

Everyone has their own reasons to “go meatless.” I believe that one can maintain a healthy body on a carnivore diet (with lean meats, omega 3 rich fish and of course portion control and a balance with veggies, fruit and whole grains) but I strongly believe in incorporating more meatless dishes into our weekly repertoire because of the impact this has on the environment.

From the Meatless Monday site… Why Meatless?

  • REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . . far more than transportation.[3] And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
  • MINIMIZE WATER USAGE. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef.[4] Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.[5]
  • HELP REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE. On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S.[6] Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein.[7] Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand.

Every single person can help reduce the demand for meat (especially inhumanely raised meat) by going meatless more often. I knew I was already doing my part (I know I could always do more by becoming a vegetarian but it’s just not realistic for my lifestyle – we can only do our personal best) but committing myself to a Monday seemed limiting. Well, I’m taking on the challenge!! I like that I can plan a whole day of meatless eats (not just a random meal here and there). I think it happens by mistake once in a while but being more conscious about it made it fun. And you know what? I had some kick-ass eats today. Let’s review them! :mrgreen:

BREAKFAST

Breakfast pizza + coffee

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Ww tortilla, Barney Butter, nonfat yogurt, mango, Kashi golean cereal, shredded coconut + choc chips

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So yummy! :grin:

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MID-MORNING SNACK

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LUNCH

Star ingredient #1: Ellie Krieger edamame “hummus” (recipe can be found here)

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It was super galicky and very delicious. I used my vitamix so it was super creamy too. Love it!!

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Star #2: grill… well a grill pan for now ;)

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Whole wheat Tuscan pane with edamame hummus, heirloom grape tomatoes, grilled zucchini and goat cheese – all pressed together

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OMG – seriously I couldn’t get over this deliciousness. Goat cheese + grilled veggies is seriously the best combo on earth. Love <3

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MID-AFTERNOON/PRE-WORKOUT SNACK

Clif mojo mountain trek mix bar

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WORKOUT

I’m still getting over (or into?) a mild cold so an intense cardio workout was just not in the books. I attended a Body Pump-type class and it was tough. I sweated like crazy and loved every minute of it. What else is new? ;)

DINNER

A little snack while prepping dinner: Doctor Kracker “flatbread” with edamame “hummus”

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+ a meatless dinner – ma po tofu with steamed broccolini (recipe can be found here)

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I used light tofu, omitted the beef and rice and added broccoli to the broccolini to bulk it up. This made 3 good servings with these lighter substitutions.

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I LOVED this meal. It was quite spicy (I used 1T of sriracha) and tasted super authentic. I could see myself ordering it at a Chinese restaurant and being a very happy camper. Some brown rice would have been great to soak up some of the sauce but I thought we’ve been eating too much rice lately so that’s why I omitted it this time. I wouldn’t hesitate to make it again… and you shouldn’t either! :lol:

A lovely super charge me cookie to end a lovely day of meatless eats :D

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What do you think of the Meatless Monday movement? If you’re interested, you can pledge to go meatless on Mondays here.

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